Kalai to perform as part of USU
students' class project during service week
By Nate Laursen
April 9, 2009 | National touring singer and songwriter
Kalai will be the headlining a benefit concert for the
Mali Rising Foundation in the Taggart Student Center
ballroom on Thursday as the culmination of a USU class
Kalai's performance, recently featured on Jimmy Kimmel
Live and Inside Edition, will be part of an effort to
raise money to build schools in Mali Africa. The event
has been organized by a group of eight students as part
of an assignment for Dr. Daniel Holland's class entitled,
"Managing Organizations and People," better known to
students as MHR 3110.
The class requires students to work as a group to
organize an event with the purpose of raising money
for a charitable organization. "For the class we are
required to do a group project," said David Brown, a
USU student majoring in Accounting, "and we are working
with the Service Center and using Pakt House Productions
to bring in Kalai. An amount of the proceeds is going
to the Mali Rising Foundation to build schools for the
little kids in Mali, Africa."
The concert is part of USU's annual Service Week put
on by the Val R. Christensen Service Center. The week
consists of several events and service projects hosted
by numerous groups and organizations in an effort to
encourage students to be service-minded.
David Knighton, the newly elected Service Vice President
for ASUSU, said the Service Center is working closely
with a student group known as Aggies for Africa to raise
enough money to build a school in Mali. Knighton said
anything that earns money this week is going towards
the Mali Rising Foundation.
According to the foundation's website the current
focus is to build middle schools in the rural areas
of Mali, West Africa, for children who do not have access
to schools in their villages, and they accomplish this
objective by working collaboratively with community
members and village elders.
Knighton said the goal and purpose of Service Week
is to inform students and the community about the kinds
of service that are currently going on and of the opportunities
of becoming involved. "The service center does a lot."
Knighton said, "We want encourage students to join clubs
and get involved in service."
Knighton said the concert is a great opportunity for
students to get involved. "Two dollars from each ticket
will be going to Mali Rising," Knighton said, "and a
raffle is being held and things will be given away.
It is going to be off the hook!"
Kysha Smith, one of the students in the group that
organized the concert, said they chose Kalai because
his style of music appeals to college students and he
is a good performer. "He is big," Smith said, "but he
will still come play at a benefit concert like this."
Smith, a junior majoring in interior design with an
emphasis in sales and marketing, said the group chose
to work with the Service Center and felt a concert was
an effective way to earn money. Pakt House Productions
was brought on by the group to produce the show and
bring the talent.
"We felt the best way to be most effective was a concert,"
Smith said, "Concerts attract a lot of people, and we
felt it was the best way to raise money for the foundation."
Smith and Brown both said the class and the project
has been a great learning experience. Smith said the
class has taught her and her group leadership skills
and how to be an effective manager. "We have learned
that things donít always work the way you think," Said
Smith, "and when they donít you have to rethink the
organization and coordination of things." Smith said
coordinating the different organizations has been a
challenge with differing schedules but they have been
able to adapt their original plans and make the concert
"At first I was just taking the class because it was
required," Brown said, "but it is a really good class.
It has given me the desire to start my own business
more than any other business class I have taken. It
makes me want to work for myself."
Smith said the number one reason students and others
should get involved is because it is a USU organization
that is trying to raise the money. "It would be really
cool for USU to build a school in West Africa," she
Tickets for the concert are $8 in advance and $12
at the door and can be purchased online at www.ticketweb.com
or in the basement of the TSC near the bookstore. Doors
open at 6pm and snow and ski apparel will be given away
sponsors Remember Delaware and Cafe Sabor. Utah singer/songwriter
Dillon Brough will be opening for Kalai.
For more information about the Mali Rising Foundation
or Service Week contact the Val R. Christensen Service
Center at 435-797-7378.